Back in August I posted about the investigation into whether the Gay Police Association had committed a “faith crime” by publishing the advert below:
Following an investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service concluded that t he GPA had no case to answer.
Now it transpires that an evangelical Christian politician will be seeking a private prosecution of members of the Gay Police Association.
Private prosecutions have worked well in the past for evangelical Christians. In 1977, moral crusader Mary Whitehouse secured a conviction for “Blasphemous Libel” against the editor of Gay News, Denis Lemon following the publication of the poem “The Love that Dares to Speak its Name“. A rather lousy poem, in my opinion, but that’s hardly the issue.
The Rev George Hargreaves – who is leading the effort to bring a private prosecution – is behind one of the efforts to marry Evangelical Christianity and politics. He stood as an MP in the last election for a Christian Party called “Operation Christian Vote“. He has also visited the US to to consult with Christian political strategists there about, presumably, their tactics for increasing religious-right influence in government.
The Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association has invited Rev Hargreaves to participate in a panel discussion to debate the issues around the threats to prosecute the Gay Police Association (GPA) following their advert linking religious belief to homophobic incidents and discuss the rise of religiously-motivated homophobia in general and the increasing clash between religion and gay rights.
The other panelists are from The Gay Police Association, The Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, and Black Lesbians & Gays Against Media Homophobia.
It should be a lively debate.
Religious Freedom vs Gay Rights:
Should the Gay Police Association be prosecuted for inciting religious hatred?
Date: Friday, 13 October 2006
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: The Library, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
Nearest Tube: Holborn
ALL WELCOME – Free Admission